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"Wixii qoran baa quruumo hadhee, muxuu hadal qiimo leeyahay." Somali
"Words fly, but scripts stay - for centuries." English

BME: EU – In or Out Debate

Bristol European Referendum Debate on Race Equality- you decide!

The EU debate, and race equality will be one of the largest discussions on the subject in Bristol.  Three racial equality organisations are teaming up to put on a European Referendum debate in Bristol on the 26th of May. Voice4Change England, Operation Black Vote and the Black South West Network are holding this crucial debate from 6:30-8:30 in the evening at M Shed in Bristol, to encourage and promote voter registration ahead of next month’s referendum.

These issues that are to be discussed will affect every person in Bristol that’s why we are encouraging a lively debate for the arguments for remaining in the EU and for those against.   Our organisations are also very keen for people from BME backgrounds to register to vote. BME individuals are often less likely to be registered to vote than non-BME people.

To register to vote click here

Our opinions are crucial in a healthy democracy, and events like these encourage more engagement from the diverse BME community in Bristol.

Sado Jirde, Director of Black South West Network, “It is vital for individuals and communities to really understand the arguments behind both the Stay & Leave campaigns to be able to make an informed decision on June 23rd. That is why we are hosting this event”

Confirmed guest speaker, Marvin Rees, Bristol newly elected Mayor

Panellist to include representatives from both the Stay & Leave campaigns including elected members of parliament.

The debate is also supported by Up Our Street, Babassa Inc, Hope Not Hate and the Somali Forum.

Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm

Date : 26th May

Address :  M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN

Contact BSWN press office: 07825348976


Struggle – new Somali play in English comes to Bristol

Suuban makes a YouTube video explaining how she is doubly discriminated against: she is black and she is Muslim. When the video goes viral she becomes the voice of her community but her new found fame has unwelcome consequences. MI5 pressure her relentlessly for help in preventing teenage girls from joining ISIS. And some of her community turn against her, digging up secrets from her family’s past in Somalia.

Struggle is part of this year’s Somali Festival Bristol which aims to celebrate both the cultural heritage of the SomalisStruggle and the community’s presence in the city. The festival – presented by Black South West Network and the Somali Media Group – is a sister to the week-long Somali Festival in London that is curated by Kayd Somali Arts and Culture and will similarly focus on the concept of ‘spaces’, what they mean, and how they are used, for ‘Aqoon la’aani waa iftiin la’aan – The absence of knowledge is the absence of light’ and we wish to fill these spaces with light.

Omar DhaqanThe festival presents Somali artists and academics, including Anab Guled, AbdiRahman Barwaaqo, Professor Cawo Abdi, Ibrahim Hersi Hurre and Firdos Ali’s Somali play ‘Struggle’ – as well as the Bristol-based author and Somali playwright Abdillahi Mohabe. Further, there will also be an opportunity to see a small cultural exhibition.

Event Details

Date: Friday, 30 October 2015

Time: 12:00 – 21:00

Venue: City Academy Bristol, Russell Town Avenue, Redfield, Bristol BS5 9JH

You can book your place now – just visit Somali Festival Bristol

Please see the attached documents for:

Programme details: Somali Festival Programme
Project background and information for the media: Press Release

Somali Festival Bristol

Celebrating Somali Cultural Heritage

‘Nin aan dhul marini dhaayo maleh – He who has not travelled has no understanding.’

The Somali community has travelled to Bristol, and has come with a deep understanding of who they are and where they are from. Now, to celebrate the Somali community’s presence in Bristol, and to wrap their arms around Bristolians who do not know of them, Black South West Network and the Somali Media Group, in conjunction with Kayd Somali Arts and Culture are holding a Somali Festival here on the Friday 30th of October.

The Bristol Somali Festival is a sister to the week-long Somali Festival in London that is curated by Kayd and will similarly focus on the concept of ‘spaces’, what they mean, and how they are used, for ‘Aqoon la’aani waa iftiin la’aan – The absence of knowledge is the absence of light’ and we wish to fill these spaces with light.

The Festival is part of a wider Black South West Network project that will be exploring Somali Diaspora Identity in Bristol over the last 25 years. The project will be exploring Somali heritage and identity in the UK from 1991 to the present day. It aims to draw out how heritage and identity have changed as a result of living in the UK, and to develop a body of work that all people can relate to, which will engender a sense of understanding across communities.

The project will examine key themes of Somali heritage and cultural identity to understand what it means to be a Somali and Bristolian/British. This project will honour the Somali oral tradition by recording interviews with members of all age groups in our community to capture the memories, thoughts and views of the Somali community in Bristol.

These interviews will be conducted by trained members of the Somali community. Interviewees will cover both genders and an age range that will provide rich data from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation Somalis in Bristol.

The project will be launched at the 2015 Somali Festival in Bristol, an off-shoot of the annual Somali Festival in London. Over the following year, 48 interviews will be collected. The interviews will be edited and used as features in monthly radio programmes on BCfm community radio; they will be utilized, alongside personal artefacts, video footage, and interactive heritage exhibits, as key elements of a year long exhibition on the Somali community in Bristol at the MShed, which will be launched at the 2016 Somali Festival.

As a result of this project, the whole of Bristol can learn of Somali culture through their own words.

‘Af jooga looma adeego – Do not serve for a mouth that is present (i.e. one should not speak on behalf of a person who is present).’


Date: Friday, 30th of October 2015

Time: 12:00 – 21:00

Venue: City Academy Bristol, Russell Town Avenue, Bristol BS5 9JH

Bookings: you could book a place through Eventbrite where Early Bird reservation system is in place – please visit Somali Festival Bristol 


Details of the festival programme, please see the following documents:

PDF: Somali Festival Bristol 2015 – Press Release


For additional information, please contact:

Sado Jirde, Project Manager, BSWN,

Email:   or  Telephone: 0117 939 6648­­

Warsaxaafadeed – Joojinta Qaadka

23 June 2014

Joojinta qaadka: Wadashaqaynta hay’adda Safer Bristol iyo bulshada Soomaaliyeed

Hay’adda Safer Bristol waxay bulshada Soomaaliyeed ee magaalada ku nool kala sii shaqaynayasay sidii loo maarayn lahaa saamaynta joojinta qaaadku bulshada ku yeelanayo marka ay berri (24 June) dawladdu go’aankeedii dhaqan geliso

Qaadku waa geed firfircooni geliya unugyada jidhka. Dhaqan ahaan qaadka waxa badanaa isticmaala ragga Soomaalida, Yamanida, Keenyaatiga iyo reer Jabuuti marka ay marfishyada ku sheekaysanayaan – marfishyadu waa guryo ama goobo raggu ku qayilaan, kulmaan, kuna sheekaystaan ama ku go’aamiyaan arrimaha bulshada. Maadaama uu qaadku yahay maandooriye dhaqan ahaan lagu sheekaysto ama la isku waraysto saacado badan ayaa loo fadhiyaa oo la qayilaa.

Qaadku wuxuu qofka cuna ka dhigaa mid feejigan oo hadal badan, marka dhowr saacadood loo fadhiyo xasilooni iyo deganaansho ayuu qofka u keenaa, sidoo kale cunto xumo iyo hurdo la’aan ayuu keeni karaa. Sii akhri warsaxaafadeedka oo dhamaystiran

Press Release: Educational Debate on Somali Pupils in Bristol


15 March 2010

Somali Educators’ Forum (SEF)

Talo: debate on the educational underachievement of Somali pupils in Bristol

On Saturday 20 March, the Somali Educators’ Forum, supported by the Somali Resource Centre, hosts a debate to discuss the roots of Somali pupil underachievement in Bristol schools.

The debate, Talo, which will be held at Barton Hill Settlement, Bristol, from 6.00pm to 9.00pm, will examine if the needs of Somali children (and their parents) are addressed accordingly, and receive appropriate support at school to improve attainment and to integrate into the UK educational system. Concurrently, it will look at the level of parental and community engagement and involvement; more importantly, it will discuss the capacity of Somali-led organisations and the role of the Supplementary School Services, particularly the gap between what it offers and what Somali-led supplementary schools receive.

The event will feature a debate panel and guest speakers. These will include Somali practitioners from local primary and secondary schools and voluntary and community organisations, parents, and community leaders and/or activists.

The audience will include Somali parents and carers, community workers, members of the community, and teaching and support staff from schools and other educational institutions in Bristol.


Notes for editors

Somali Educators’ Forum was set up to develop the professional capacity of Somali educators and/or practitioners; to address, tackle educational inequalities and social exclusion, among many other things, faced by Bristol’s Somali children and young people (and their families).

Somali Resource Centre is a Bristol based Somali-led voluntary organisation.

Author: Abdi Mohamed

For all media enquiries relating to this press release, please contact Somali Resource Centre on 0117 9077994

Somali pupils in Bristol schools

Gang and Knife Event



21st October 2008


Kayse Maxamed, Editor, the Somali Voice

Gang and Knife Awareness Event for Somali Communities


On Saturday 25th October, 2008, the Somali Voice, in partnership with Bristol Somali Media Group (BSMG), presents an event for Somali communities to promote awareness of gang and knife issues amongst Somali parents and adults.


The event, which will be held at the Malcolm X Community Centre, 114 City Road, Bristol BS2 8YH, provides opportunities for Somali parents and adults to gain an understanding of the issues, especially gang and knife and other related crimes, faced by Somali young people in the city — including level of the problems and how to deal with them.


“Mums have a big influence on helping their kids to make the right choice – and we need to help mums to talk to their kids about dangers of carrying a knife.” —- Home   Secretary, June 2008


The event will provide relevant information, and will feature guest speakers. These will include:


      Kerry MacCarthy, MP

      Ahmed Ibrahim Dahir (Ahmed Weyne), Somaliland MP

      Somali elders and parents (2 members)

      Latif Ismail

      Trevor Margenou, Superintendent

      Keith Open Show, Police Community Liaising Officer

      Somali Imams (or leading members) from Al-Huda and Al-Baseera

      Local community organisations: Somali Youth Forum, Nilaari, etc


Notes to editors:


      The Somali Voice and BSMG are Somali-led media organisations in Bristol, which provide platforms to reach (communicate) with the Somali speaking population, as well as information and news for local communities.


      BSMG, in partnership with Somali Voice ltd, will re-start publishing the bi-lingual monthly newspaper, The Somali Voice.


      The event is being sponsored by Bristol City Council, and will be held annually from now on.




For further information contact:


Kayse Maxamed on 07769970314 ( OR

Abdi Mohamed on 07960 281727 (


Map of the venue